[Tech Talk] 5 Key iPhone Upgrades in iOS 10

Unless you’ve masterfully been dipping and dodging digital rocks for the last week, then you’re aware that there’s been a new update to the Apple iOS and this time, they’re shaking things up. The opening bugs from the new system have been zapped, and the risk of owning an expensive brick have diminished exponentially so I think it’s safe for everyone to get on the train. As of today, almost a third of prior users have done the damn thing and upgraded their devices.  However, before you climb aboard – it’s helpful to understand what changes you’re getting yourself into.

As a somewhat recent iPhone convert (RIP my beautiful Android and my addition to all things LG), there are some features that I feel I’m still getting used to on the iPhone; other times, it’s as if Apple is taking more and more from Camp Android, and the latest update is absolutely no exception. With the iOS 10 update there’s a handful of both ergonomic changes and functional changes, not to mention a new color to add to your collection. If you have an iPhone6 or earlier, you’ll unfortunately be missing out on a few of the clutch components that iOS 10 has to offer – primarily anything to do with 3D sensors and touch screen, especially as more companies jump in on the fun.  An inconvenient technological ploy to get you to upgrade? Potentially. But –  will it work? Definitely.

There’s No Place Like Home

Of all the changes to get used to, using the Home Button to unlock the phone might be the largest.  For the last few years, we’ve all been swiping like it’s hot, so for me – I have a good amount of unlearning to do.  This is the most intuitive changes that Apple has made to the iPhone in a few iterations, but it’s also proving to be the most difficult to get over.

Lift Up to Light Up

No longer do we have to live in an age of button pressing on your phone to catch up on your notifications or the time.  Now, all you have to do is simply raise your phone to wake it up.  For those of you that are weary of someone else picking up your phone and being able to read the notifications, don’t you fret – there are ways to edit what’s seen.

Swipe to Snap

Seems like Apple finally realized what everyone wants immediately when they reach for their phone, the time, the notifications – and a way to take a quick pic.  Thank goodness one of the two swipe screens is for the Camera. The other side screen is your widgets – instead of being a pull down screen from the top, they’re now a lot more accessible.

Let Bedtime Put You to Sleep

Maybe it’s a symptom of not wanting to completely be an adult yet, but the idea of a ‘bedtime’ is terrifying – and even more so for my fiance whenever I mention having one. Thanks to the update from Apple, now I can actually set a bedtime reminder – just in case I’m busy marathoning Mr. Robot and Penny Dreadful and think I’ll have no problem going on 3 hours of sleep the next day (note to self, you’re 31 going on 32, not 23 going on 13…)

Make Messages Personal

For all those times you’d rather send a handwritten something than a barrage of bitcode, this update is for you.  Next time you’re in your messages, turn the screen into landscape mode to put your words into your own handwriting. If you’re feeling funny – add a GIF straight from Bing’s search schematics; if you’re feeling flirty – try sending a message with invisible ink.

These are just my five favorite updates, but there are plenty more: edit your live photos,  delete root applications like Stocks, utilize the new and improved search tool, play around with Siri now that she’s been linked up to more applications, transcribe voicemails, collaborate on notes, adjust the brightness on the flashlight or use ‘Moments’ to create little slideshows of your recent memories.

What are your favorite updates inside the new iOS? Let me know in the comments below!


 

 

[Tech Talk] Apple Unveils new iPads + Free OS

It’s that time of year again! Autumn was ushered in by beautiful LA weather, Pumpkin Spice Lattes have more than taken over the coffee world and Halloween is just around the corner – but that’s not exactly what I’m talking about.

It’s the time of year where our friends at Apple HQ loop in their loyal customer base about their latest and greatest products and projects.  I’ve touched on this a bit in the past, but I’m an Apple girl through and through – well, minus the fact I’ve refused to cave into the iPhone madness for the last few years and love my HTC Droid to pieces – but I digress.   The tech talk started at 11 EST/ 10am PST and is being hosted by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater up in San Francisco. For loyal customers running iOs4.2 you’ll be able to stream the event in multitudes of ways and if you have Safari 4 or later, the event is being live-streamed right here.  If you care less about talking heads and more about talking points, one of my favorite tech sites – Gizmodo – is live-blogging the event right here.

Now, without further ado – some of the highlights from today’s press event:

Map Updates on OS 10.9 Mavericks

Image thanks to NBC

The New OS 10.9 is called Mavericks. Unlike previous OS X’s – like Mountain Lion, Tiger, Panther, Snow Leopard – this marks the first OS X that isn’t named after a killer cat but instead after a killer wave.  To boot, Mavericks marks the first OS released by Apple that is free (Yes, FREE!) for everyone to update – and it’s available starting today.  This update contains about 200 changes, including but definitely not limited to these arenas – Web Browsing (Safari will show users what their social networks have been reading), Maps with a 3D Flyover view, Notifications, Power Efficiency (To quote the Senior VP Federighi:  “On a 13″ Macbook you’ll get an hour longer web browsing on a single charge.”) and more.

Image thanks to Gizmodo

They also introduced a few new sibling in the iPad family.  First – we have a new iPad Mini! The 16GB iPad Mini 2 finally has a retina display and hosts twice the resolution as the original with 324 pixels per inch and a resolution of 2048 x 1536 for you number ninjas out there.   This makes the iPad Mini 2 a definite contender against the Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX.  The iPad Mini 2 is a little on the expensive side – $530 with the works (LTE/WiFi) and $400 for WiFi Only.  The good news?  The old iPad Mini is now only $300; and with Apple – I’ve learned to take what I can get.  Next up,  the iPad air.  It clocks in at approximately 1lb and 9.7″, making it roughly half a pound lighter and much thinner than previous versions.  The CPU inside is two times as fast as the last iPad update – which was twice as fast as the first; the final result? An iPad that’s eight times faster than the original iPad.

Apple’s Mac Pro Core Processor

Last, but certainly not least – let’s take a look at the new Mac + MacBook Pros.  The Mac Pro contains that sexy beast of metal above – Intel’s Xeon E5 Processor with between four and twelve cores.  The Xeon Processor holds 12GB of high performance RAM (GDDR5 if you want to get specific).  As far as graphics are concerned, the Mac Pro runs with an AMD FirePro which means 4k video output. Other specs for the Mac Pro include: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, HDMI, 4 USB Ports, 6 Thunderbolt ports and 2  Ethernet Ports.  Per usual, the Mac Pro will cost a pretty penny – approximately $3000, and is available starting this December.  Then there’s the kid sister laptop version – the MacBook Pro. Much like the Mac Pro, the 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros boast the latest OS, Thunderbolt ports and the 802.11ac Wi-Fi radio.  The 15″ gets an Intel Pro GPU, a 256 GB Solid State Drive and a 2 Ghz Quad Core Processor with 8GB of Dynamic RAM and runs at $2000.  The kid brother, the new 13′, is less than3 pounds and 3/4 of an inch thick.  Inside, you’ll find a 2.4 Ghz Core i6, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD and an enhanced retina display.  It runs at about $1300 and both models – the 13″ and 15″ Mac Book Pros – ship today!

What are your chances of splurging on any one of their new products?

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” 
― Apple Inc.

Tech Tuesdays: Comparing Apples to Ice Cream

Technology and I go way, way back.

From a young age, I was immersed in and surrounded by some of the newest, geekiest tech toys available. My mom would lean towards function over form while my dad was a fan of having the latest and greatest of everything – from new Movie formats, an upgraded OS, the latest in cordless Home Phone and cell phone technology.

I grew up on the Mac II, playing around with MineSweeper, Creative Writer, KidPix, Pipe Dreams and Lemmings when most kids were playing with dolls.At the age of 7, my dad brought home our first – and only – Laser Disc player. In middle school, I was lucky enough to get an iMac. I got my first mp3 player soon after and essentially played hotpotato with various iPods into my college life.  When the iMac was scrapped for parts, I inherited a Mac Sawtooth G4 and after that the shiny new iMac that I have today but I couldn’t fully escape the grasp of the PC.  In college, I honed in on my love of numbers, data and code and eventually switched my major to Statistical Science.  My new coursework relied heavily on applications that were PC only, so eventually I became proficient in both operating systems.

I got my first cell phone before I got my first car; it was an ugly brick of a phone but it did the trick.  It maybe had a game on it, six obnoxious stock ringtones and limited, if any, texting capabilities.  When I was 17 I upgraded to a smaller brick – and slowly, but surely I started climbing that magical cell phone ladder.  In college, I upgraded to an LG Flip Phone that changed color on the front panel; it might not seem so cool now, but back then it was the business. I had a Chocolate until it fell apart on me, literally. I thought about getting an iPhone but I have to be honest – at the time it seemed like a glorified, overpriced iPhone and I wanted nothing to do with it. So when HTC started rolling out Android phones, I was thrilled.  I started with an Incredible, then the Incredible 2 and finally – my precious Rezound. One of the best things about this model is the sleek GUI and design interface.

A few days ago, the Ice Cream Sandwich update was pushed through to my phone; I was stoked! It was honestly like having a brand new phone to play around with.  Here are some of the changes that I noticed, and a helpful little trick.

 The best aspect of the Ice Cream update is the locked dock at the bottom of the screen.  Before the update, I had my favorite applications on the lock menu and the rest posted all over the home screen for easy reference. The new dock not only lets you keep those precious applications at your fingertips, but you can choose between having one or many in one location by simply dragging and dropping one over the other.

Trick: To take screen shots on older HTC models, you either had do download and pay for a 3rd party application or go through the painstaking task of rooting your Droid.  One of the things I absolutely about the Rezound is being able to take screen shots on the fly.  If you didn’t know you had this feature and wanted to test it out, follow these super simple steps:

  1. Go to the main screen of the Rezound
  2. Press gently on the Power Button, holding it halfway down
  3. Tap the Home Icon

Your screen should immediately flash to white and a text box saying “Screenshot saved to Camera shots” will pop up on the bottom of the screen.

Tip:

Toggling this button may seem like a good idea:

I’ll save battery life! My applications will boot faster! WRONG.

I’ve had issues with previous phones and what happened seemed like a horrible flashback: every time I closed out of an application the HTC Menu would reboot.  Being the proud owner of now several HTC phones, I thought I was starting an infinite Boot Loop.

Thank goodness I wasn’t, but I got scared for a second! I’d much rather use this Advanced Task Killer application and save myself the heart attacks.